November 08, 2007

Greeley Mayor Ousted After Swift Meatpacking Comments

Confrontation at last year's ICE raid of Greeley's Swift meatpacking plant

Anyone still doubtful about the effect that illegal immigration has on Colorado politics (particularly in damaging the GOP's electoral chances), or who believes that a "comprehensive" reform package will be more palatable than strong enforcement should take a look at the results of yesterday's mayoral election in Greeley:
Challenger Ed Clark ousted incumbent Mayor Tom Selders handily Tuesday night in an election overshadowed by issues of illegal immigration.

Clark, a school security guard and former Greeley police officer, bested Selders 7,288 votes to 5,015. Selders, a longtime fixture in city government and a two-term mayor, couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Selders earned the ire of many conservatives in Greeley for traveling to Washington, D.C., earlier this year to complain that raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at Swift meatpacking plants were disruptive to families.

At least two outside groups targeted Selders for his stance, saying he was soft on illegal immigrants.

One group - Alliance for a Better Greeley - distributed a mailer showing a group characterized as gangsters flashing gang signs under text that read "Tom Selders is Good for Business."
Last year's raid at the Swift meatpacking plant has had repercussions throughout the Northern Colorado community, prompting Weld County DA Ken Buck's recent illegal immigrant crime forum.

The 61-39 drubbing reveals that a strong enforcement position is not only politically viable, but reflects bipartisan accord on one issue at a time when even intraparty fracture seems to be the rule. Just look at the move Democrats made in breaking with NY Governor Eliot Spitzer over his proposed move to grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

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